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Emily Grossman

The Swing of the Pendulum

December 1, 2011 at 1:33 PM

You can't play a chord progression backward. That would be like opening a story with "happily ever after" or going back in time. Chord progressions, regardless of the particulars, exist with one soul purpose, and this is to lead us to the tonic. They take us Home.

November is over. The pendulum swings; like a scythe, it swings again, slicing a strict cadence that must be minded. In the darkness, we trot along, my dog and I. His steps are quicker than mine, and at the age of eight, he is older than me, despite our similar pace. We are all going home eventually, but the question is, when?

The month has been full of tension and resolve; each story along the way has been filled with its own conflict and resolution. As each day passes, I submit my own contribution, hopeful to bring things to harmony. Sometimes, we hit it all together in rhythm. Sometimes, the phrases leave me reaching for the next note, discontentedly.

Is this why we like music? Patterns of recurring themes in our own life story find their voicing in various instruments, connecting us with centuries of humanity, all echoing in agreement with one another this innate desire for resolution. The music speaks of our tales, eager to discover what lies next, hopeful to see the object of our desire.

Planets rotate. Seasons color the notes with warmth or ice. Everything moves along, setting a scene for the great, perplexing question. We ask it again and again:

Is it happily ever after, or is it?


From marjory lange
Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:23 PM
It's to be hoped we each can resolve our personal music as clearly and satisfyingly as most (traditional classical) music does, that we have a strong cadence to each day, each month...
From Emily Grossman
Posted on December 2, 2011 at 9:07 AM
Marjory, I wonder, whose artwork do you use for your bio photo? I like it.

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